Grand Marais Travel Guide

  • Late Nov sunset photo over harbor from Gun Flint
    Late Nov sunset photo over harbor from...
    by charlesracine
  • Joynes Ben Franklin old department, 5 & dime store
    Joynes Ben Franklin old department, 5 &...
    by charlesracine
  • View, BW Superior from Artists Point, Sep. 30 2008
    View, BW Superior from Artists Point,...
    by charlesracine

Grand Marais Things to Do

  • Excellent Art classes and a great Arts...

    I'm not a great artist but I had such a great time and learned so much from Neil He teaches landscape painting and painting on location or "plein aire" as its called in the art community. They have classes for a wide range of abilities, from novice to advanced, personalized mentoring and for kids too! They have a non-toxic print studio, a clay...

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  • Grand Portage

    Take a side trip to Grand Portage and the old fur post.The old fur post is Grand Portage Nat'l Monument. You'll find lots things to see and do.

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  • Hiking in Northern Minnesota

    With 35 hiking trails to choose from in the Superior National Forest, there's one for every level of hiking experience. My Favorites: Devil's Kettle Trail - Moderate Difficulty; lots of stairways; 2.5 miles - The trail follows the Brule River with vistas of waterfalls and rapids. A 50-foot waterfall at the Devil's Kettle mysteriously...

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  • Artist's Point

    "Artist's Point" is the name of a small penninsula of rock that forms our double harbor. It has some small trails for hiking, and is a great place to walk pets or have a picnic. The giant formations of rock, bluffs and islands that form the North Shore are represented in miniature on Artist's Point. You can walk out to the Grand Marais lighthouse,...

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  • Visitor Information Center

    If you're wondering about a particular place you might've heard about, ask here. If you've come into town and don't have a place to stay, they can help find one. If you want to know what's going on in town, they know. If you're headed past Grand Marais- to Grand Portage or Thunder Bay, ON, they got info on those places too! Wondering where some...

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  • Sven and Ole's

    No question. The one and only must see in Grand Marais is Sven and Ole's.Ok, I probably need to explain for all those who do not live in Minnesota. We have quite a Scandanavian heritage in the state and where other places might have polish jokes or dumb blonde jokes, we have Sven and Ole jokes.Like the time that Sven goes into work and sees Ole...

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Grand Marais Hotels

Grand Marais Restaurants

  • A Gem in the Wilderness

    All you could wish for in the wilderness. This place has everything, great food, friendly and down to earth people. Besides a wonderful place to eat located on a beautiful lake. They also have a quaint store, sell gasoline, and operate a small motel across the street. We found this business by chance but we will be sure to make it a regular stop...

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  • The Best Burgers- and great atmosphere

    Great burgers and not just your average burgers ;) Chicken-fried, Hawaiian, Bull Moose, Twin Sister, North Shore Burger, the PBJ and quite a few more strange and original burgers. They also serve hotdogs- with alot of variety and fun recipies, chicken, and "The World's Smallest Sundae". 'Haystack' type onion rings, and good soups.Atmosphere- lets...

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  • Good varied selection & some locally...

    Good varied selection & some locally grown items with a very good selection of tap beers. Located in the old Grand Marais State bank. No one can steal the beer. It varies and you likely can't go wrong with the many and changing selections that we have tried.

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  • Summers Here

    You can tell when summer's here, because Jackson's Dairy Queen Brazier opens. Every high school kid in town seems to have gotten there first job here. This far from the big cities, makes a fast food place a treat. Pick up some burgers and wander down to the harbor. Enjoy a warm meal on a cool evening with the seagulls and other people spending a...

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  • Swedish Pizza anyone

    Fun for the kids. The hangout for the high school. Great salads and good pizza. Very simple, very open, extremely bright and pizza to boot. It's where you'll meet friends, whom you hadn't planned on meeting. Best of all, it's great for the kids. Very relaxed. Pizza, subs, salads, burgers, fries. Upstairs, the Pickle Herring Club has a full bar and...

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  • The Center of Town

    The Blue Water Cafe has been in Grand Marais for as long as there has been a town. It's an icon, it's someplace everyone goes at sometime. I guess, it's my favorite. Not just because the food is good and the place has character. But mostly because, I still see the picture from Church. The Community Church (on 3rd Ave? - don't ask the locals the...

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Grand Marais Nightlife

  • Nightlife? Nightlife?

    Seriously, most people come to these towns specifically to GET AWAY from throngs of loud drunken partygoers. However, if you want a pleasant conversation and a couple good beers with a nice meal, there are many worthwhile places to pick from. Sven and Ole's Pizza features an elevated bar with regional and unique beers. They are most known for their...

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  • One place to AVOID and one that ROCKS

    My travel companion and I had a hard enough time finding food and drink in Grand Marais. We couldn't locate this place called the Angry Trout because we'd been calling it so many different names (the Smiling Trout, the Grumpy Trout, the Happy Trout). Finally, we confused ourselves so much we were looking for the Smiling Trout. "That's not it,"...

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  • Waiting for the Sunset

    Grand Marais's night activities really get started in the fall and last the winter (September -March). You see, that is the only time when 'night' comes early enough to include evening activites. There's the community theater, Friends of the Library meetings, school plays, school sports and concerts, and the annual Christmas 'Messiah' program at...

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Grand Marais Transportation

  • Bus to & from Duluth, MN & Thunderbay...

    Update; An Arrowhead Transit bus goes from Grand Marais to Duluth on the second Tuesday and fourth Thursday of each month. Call the driver at 218-370-1515 for a reservation, pick-up point and fare. "Happy Time Tours and Travel" unfortunately says; "EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 3, 2008: the Duluth bus schedule will only run on MONDAYS and FRIDAYS (except on...

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  • If you are starting anywhere...

    If you are starting anywhere in Minnesota, just get on I35 and head North. You will know when you are getting close, because of all the sven and ole bumper stickers!http://www.grandmarais.com/Walking

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  • Grand Marais Hotels

    11 Hotels in Grand Marais

    317 Reviews and Opinions

Grand Marais Shopping

  • First stop for many local items &...

    Try this as a first stop for many local items & Souvenirs. Prices are good and so is the selection in this small store. The Joynes family has been in Grand Marais for 100 years. They advertise and I would agree with their description; Family owned & operated department store in downtown Grand Marais since 1941. Joynes' Ben Franklin serves locals...

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  • Beaver House, best for fishing bait & ...

    This place is certainly unusual outside but, an eye catcher. It is mostly a live bait and fishing supply shop.

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  • Local Art and Artists

    The 8 Broadway Art Gallery is right next to the Beaver House. Appropriately, much of the featured work here highlights the local environment: fish, waterfowl, moose, and bear.

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Grand Marais Local Customs

  • Skipping Stones

    A tradition in town has always been for young families to head down to the waterfront on a warm summer evening and skip stones. Often it was combined with a stop at Jackson's Dairy Queen for a cone or dinner. Then down to the beach. Here, along Minnesota's north shore, beaches don't have sand, they have rocks. Acres of rocks. So as the sun slowly...

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  • Go for a swim or a sauna

    Every winter the community pool becomes a busy place for the locals. Many attend once a week for a swim and a soak. My preference was always the sauna, my wife and kids liked the hot pool. Then there's the kiddy pool, which is kept warmer than the big pool. For -20F (-39c), there were alot of people out for a swim.

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Grand Marais Warnings and Dangers

  • Be careful, This IS a wilderness area.

    There is really no serious crime I can think of. Be careful of slippery surfaces when hiking. A fall could prove fatal. Also, the water is extremely cold all of the time. (Wading might be fine, but swimming is suicidal) On a stormy day, watch yourself around the waveswhen walking.It is not uncommon to spot bears or moosein this general area....

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  • Early August - Fisherman's Picnic

    If you plan to travel to Grand Marais the last week of July or the first two weeks of August- RESERVE ROOMS EARLY. I'm talking- months early. The first full weekend of August is "Fisherman's Picnic". This is THE event in Grand Marais. Class reunions, races and contests, fishburgers, dances and music, sales and arts/crafts booths, baseball,...

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  • If you are the type of person...

    If you are the type of person that is use to having guard-rails around everything and signs pointing out danger, then beware! This is truly wilderness. There are: massive clifs, Not so massive Bears, Moose, etc. My point being, don't think that there will be someone coming by shortly if you get in trouble. Moose and bear are not as slow as you...

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Grand Marais What to Pack

  • Summer Bugs are inland

    In the summer, life is warm during the day and cool at night. In town, it can easily reach the upper 70's away from the lake. Along the water, you may find that it feels like 50F, even on a hot sunny day. As you move inland and up the face of the Sawtooth Mtns, the temperature can rise so that just 5 blocks from the lake, it can be 20-30 degrees...

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  • Dress for ALL kinds of weather

    If you plan on hiking, bring shoes that can handle the rugged paths and sometimes slippery rock formations in the area. It is not a good idea to just go around in "flip-flops."Even the summers can be a bit varied here.On a 2004 visit to the north shore, temperatures ranged all the way from 80's with lots of sunshine at midday to low 40's on a few...

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Grand Marais Off The Beaten Path

  • Cascade River State Park

    Cascade River State is between Lutsen and Grand Marais. There is a wonderful hike up river from Hwy 61. It twists and turns along the rock lined ravine where the river runs. Numerous waterfalls cascade down the rocks.We always liked going for a hike and then eating at the Cascade Inn. Or eat then go for a walk. 3481 West Highway 61Lutsen, MN 55612

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  • Fishing on the Gunflint Trail

    With hundreds of lakes to choose from, its just a matter of picking where and what type of fish you want to catch. There are also the wonderful tributary rivers going into Lake Superior.

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  • Day Trip to Isle Royale National Park

    Surrounded by Lake Superior, Isle Royale is a hard place to get too. The easist path is from Minnesota. The boat leaves early in the morning, about 8:00 am and returns that same evening about 6:00 pm. You get 3 hours on the island, a close look at Rock of Ages Lighthouse standing alone in the lake and if the water is quiet, you'll see the wreck of...

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Grand Marais Favorites

  • St. Xavier Church

    St. Xavier was built by Jesuit missionaries for the local Ojibwe. The simplicity and honesty of the edifice is appealing. Unfortunately, it was locked when I passed through, but you might be luckier. The church is on SR 61, about half a mile north of Grand Marais.

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  • The happenin' part of town

    My sense is that if one were to be so foolish as to check in at the East Bay Hotel, one would not have cause to complain when they found his/her or theirselves in the midst of a Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode. Needless to say escape from said episode would be impossible and those unfortunate fools would spend eternity with Jack Klugman or Roddy...

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  • Grimmace and bear it

    That's not a smile on Becky's face. It is a grimmace that was frozen in place. We rushed Becky back to our rooms and put her in the sauna. It was at least half an hour before she was able to thaw out and regain control of her facial muscles.

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